Last Updated on March 25, 2014 by Christine Kaaloa
Would you take a funky car service with a pink moustache over an expensively boring yellow cab? If so, this next tip might be for you.
If you’re traveling through the U.S, you know that it’s not always easy to get around most cities without a car. On my As a city full of spread out roads and freeways, transit is the very reason why Los Angeles is not on my list of cheap places to visit. Ideally, to get around, you want to rent a car. Secondly, public transportation and by nature, I automatically exclude the third idea — taking taxi service.
But in Los Angeles, I found locals using a different type of car/smartphone app service.
It’s called Lyft.
Ride sharing: Should you take a Lyft over a taxi?
Would I want to ride in a car with a pink carstache? Hell no.
But for low fare costs, I’d be willing to overlook the unique weirdness of Lyft’s branding. Afterall, that’s the company’s fun trademark, which has its drivers doing everything from baking cookies to designing disco DJ-ing themed cars to Harry Potter themes. Sounds fun, no? I haven’t tried it yet, but it might be awesome to try just for the experience alone.
These days, car sharing companies, such as Lyft, UberX, Uber and Sidecar, are taking the U.S. by storm, by slashing at the cost of taxi fares. Already this has some states and taxi unions in an uproar and these services are so popular, they’re growing internationally. You can imagine why.
The drivers are normal people, making a little extra cash by offering their cars to this service. The services aim to compete with taxis. But get this– everything from hailing a ride, tracking it and paying for it, is done from the convenience of your smartphone !
How to use it
- Download the app on your smartphone (yes, you must have either an Android or iPhone device) .
- Open an account, add in credit card details and in some cases you may need to connect your Facebook account.
- Search the app for drivers in your area, read their profile, let them know where you’re going and book a ride .
- Kick back, as it tracks the whereabouts of your driver real-time via GPS.
How do you pay for it?
It’s a cashless transaction, meaning you do everything through the app.
Is ride sharing cheaper than a taxi?
In some cases yes; other cases no.
If you want the cheapest, public transportation is still your best bet. However if you had to call a taxi and had to do it on the spot, this would present an alternative option.
What’s the difference between Lyft, UberX and Sidecar?
Uber Most expensive, but comparable to having your own high-end private driver (aka a black car service).
UberX 26% cheaper than a taxi. $10 minimum; $10 cancellation fee.
Sidecar Drivers get to state their own price up front so you can choose which car, price and driver you get for your destination